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David Mamet Education. (2012) 'The Secret Knowledge of the Dismantling of American Culture.'

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United States 6, America 5, Bliss 3, Jane Robinson 3, Carol Hampton Rasco 3, Chicago 3, Hollywood 3, New York 3, London 3, Brian Vandermark 2, Carol 2, U.s. 2, Iran 2, Beirut 2, Washington 2, Ucla 2, Laura Bush 1, William Peterson 1, The Welfare State 1, Barbara 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    David Mamet  Education.  (2012) 'The Secret  
   Knowledge of the Dismantling of American Culture.'  

    November 24, 2012
    1:15 - 2:30pm EST  

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1939. we're not alone. the united states and the west are in the same battles ourselves. it is the internal threat s, the internal cohesion that is at risk erotically of success. that's the thesis of the book, and i'm optimistically that we can do it, but there are very real challenges. >> you were involved in the carter administration. if you could, recap what you did for the presidents. >> i was the president's chief domestic adviser. it was my recommendation that
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created the u.s. holocaust memorial museum, the commission that led to that. i worked on behalf of the soviet jewry, but during the clinton administration i was ambassador to the european union and as undersecretary, of the holocaust negotiations. uninitiated $8 billion of compensation from the swiss, germans, austrians, slave labor, forced labor, parts, insurance i'm trying to look at this from the perspective of someone who has been a senior government official but also a leader in the jewish community. that is why this book has been endorsed by both president clinton and. [indiscernible] >> how global forces are impacting the jewish people and its relationship with the united states. this is book tv on c-span2.
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>> a criticism of his onetime liberal ideologies and opines on several current political and social issues next on book tv. delivers the 2012 manhattan institute lecture at the plaza would sell in new york city. it is a little over an hour. >> the indictment of the west. and i thought. we were shooting in white chapel . in london, a jewish neighborhood
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he started reminiscing about his life crawling gabba at his uncle's radio shop. reminiscent. his magnificence radio actor voice became east asia and went back to 1938. his face lit up remembering those days growing up in the warmth of the jewish ghetto of london. and i thought, how can harold pinter, who i do revers, denigrate the west. every other two in london would have been killed. i thought that was kind of odd. i was remembering the political views and the cultural upbringing. then i remember thinking, when he first started writing about politics, i was a young writer.
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i thought, isn't that a shame that this wonderful writer has turned into an old man and all he can do is read about politics. well, ha ha. but i think what happens, you know, one of our other great philosophies, a great, great poet. he said he had done his fighting and he commenced to studying about the great long time. so that is what i have been doing over the last few years, trying to convince the studying about the great lawn tied. and to go from thinking about the most minute of human interactions, two lines of dialogue, thinking about what the hell is going on here. so i wrote this speech. [laughter] [applause]
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so that 2012 emmy's began with a predictable round of jokes about republicans, including an exhortation that there were no republicans in hollywood with that they must be in hiding. my question was, what in the world did this partisan humor have to do with the trade show, particularly with it the old and in every moment in every way to capitalism, a medium developed to of flawed goods, the sale of which those at the emmy's made their living. and i quote from the catalog of an old revered american clothing company. naturally sustainable white poplar bound to the barn owl of reclaimed the class size, made of a reclaimed horseshoed. well, well and good, but to
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needs a barnaul? what is this al, the composition of which consists of, the reason behind this compulsively? it is the continual proclamation that self-government is unnecessary, one need not apply reason in the making of difficult decisions that one need only spell out the party line but one must do it continually. a group of celebrities did a television ad in which they pledged allegiance to obama. this may differ in degree. when in the world can we begin pledging allegiance to human beings? [applause] i brought this along. he and his daughter wrote this great book. this is what my child, my 13 year old, brought on from public school. are you a democrat of republican? on gun control a democrat wants to restrict the number and amount of guns.
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republican wants to allow guns without restriction. democrat was to make factories reduce pollution. a republican wants not to pass pollution laws that would cause factories money. this is the way schools. it does not taxation without representation, i don't know what is. but unreasonable and inconsistent. it ensures that no one will adopt them accidently. they are thus a perfect pledge of allegiance. a lack of reason ensures that there must be continually repeated as such and that every possible instance or occasion be introduced by faith. should the leftists amid the obsessive incantations the repressed wis might actually -- accidently see also the marine recruiter who is or was thrilled
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to begin each sentence inmates response would serve. he was instructed. addenda invitations. this was noted by the psychologist in 1921 and notice the number of sandra. the individual overcome by the formerly is shocked into compulsive confession of his willingness to submit. as with houseguests and strangers, one of the liberal communities continually next with establishing his own a fides. and happy family o work environment or religious organization, community in short, what they've worked lacked -- this is the most immediate effect of the benefit of community and from this the other benefits flow. in accepting community standards and committing oneself to their propagation, one creates some potential freedom of action. we are not going to let the kids grow up and shoes -- i am going to make a commitment.
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i consider myself -- the world is an example. will they accept responsibility. in a community when trade some freedom of action for increased security. two community members share certain basic assumptions. and so their behavior is more predictable. they may violate community standards, but the penalty is clear and costly. and so transgression over norms is more restricted. but time with strangers must constantly be spent establishing the limits of intimacy. our most compact functions almost completely in modnctions almost completely in modes of behavior so long and definitely established that they become unconscious. cal one reads, braces, reprimands, apologizes, lies, demands, complains. these forms are completely unknown in clear. the inclusion, even the most beloved of house guests shatters
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the use of the family interaction on the knowledge previously consigned to the unconscious mind must be brought to mind to the conscience, explained, altered, or suspended for the benefit of the guest which is white it was told, this is begin to stink after three days. the toll in energy is used -- huge. he was once marge you. is impossible to convene the smallest and most transitory of human groups without an attempt to -- improvising. culture grows in mysterious ways. its growth has nothing to do with reason. is it reasonable that all americans have to say what seems to be the trouble officer.
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where is it written? they have to say hi, we can't come to the phone right now. leave your name and number. where in the world of these forms prescribed? a culture extemporizes itself and observances and response to communal necessity to deal with which it also extemporizes. these myths no less than political deals are most organizations can derive only from a limited return number of human problems and solutions. the left discovery of global warming, the sinfulness of man causing the seas to rise may also be found in genesis six. and consider the taking of snapshots before they're shutters clicked. the photographer says one, two, three. well, here's why. photography, exposure could last up to three minutes. so there were mobilized. they could not move.
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they were instructed to stay perfectly still. they started to end the photographer assured them, almost done. one, two, three. now were done. contemporary cameras can take a snapshot in 1,000 of the second. the still photographer says one, two, three. because photographers have always said one, two, three. now the phrase is other before the shot. asked why, they might say, to allow the subject to compose himself. this makes every and it -- amateur portrait the lifeless same. the subject's face having adopted that, i'm having my picture taken. in the original photos, original photos, they looked still and have to hold. the contemporary shots, it looks like a fool.
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add only is exposure instantaneous, there is no need for stillness, but it persists seemingly without human intervention from the useful to the residuals. cities each have their own culture. in san francisco agreeing to a stranger is likely to be returned. in new york ignored, and los angeles responded to with fridge rage. likewise, of course, a beautiful american culture that can be found most readily in our jokes or illusions, stand-up comedy in television commercials. television commercial, the lowest the nomination of culture and thus the most powerful and cohesive. here's a great television commercial, that super bowl. the holocaust of some kind, the city is buried in rubble. the manufacturer's brand emerge one by one and the drivers pick up to congratulate each other. all glad to be alive and have the wisdom to purchase so great
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a truck. have a twinkie. so what do we have but an allusion to a magnificent american myth, an urban legend taken from the very school yard, and we have told each other for 50 years, 27 shelf life of 10 million years. so why might people by the truck? in join the illusion, the commonality, you might under the most happy of experiences, which is belonging. the left ridicules the notion of culture. the logic -- it's logical that all things may be reason through. if we were sufficiently intelligent to its use intelligent leaders, all the age-old problems must disappear. in the celebration of omnipotent intellect week become as those houseguests, dedicated to figuring out how of family works and how to refrain from offending each other. how does patriotism, religion, free enterprise, freedom of
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conscience, free exercise of legal rights which anyone takes the soapbox and alleges might defend. out in charcos the culture. now we are stymied because we don't know how to replace those practices. a new culture is improvised. to speak to no one at the airport, ride for 12 hours across the ocean and don't introduce yourself. don't talk to anybody on the elevator. keep your mouth shut because any of thing might offend. alter your speech in response to any suggestion and demand of fealty to the one uniting power, the new culture his champion is the left. alone, confused, and lost. the obama campaign 2008 changed may this be understood as a directive, the all of which is change or suffered. stand up where sit down? cement opened the door for a woman? permitted for whites to
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criticize a failed politician? should folks of the same sex be allowed to marry? as he or she replaced the as the correct pronoun? operationally the same question as they create fear as the questioner has no idea where to look for guidance and clarification. just like the house guest the insistence on difference in all things. the mutual desire to express courtesy driving both sides mad. this fear of a cultural vacuum is historical a leader and an enemy. the culturally unsettled man to have allegiance which will replace the structure sacrificed in the cultures abandonment.
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someone in whom one can believe in in the midst of the mess we have inherited which was previously known as the united states of america. macy also jim jones and all those claiming by intellect or face they can supervene the natural laws. if there were such a thing as a historical necessity, why in the world would we have to eight? one not question the sense of proportion of a human being who claims they will save it under us this season ceased to rise. they seem to lead, but they emerge from and ride for power. the mass confusion of the unbalance group. the political impulse for all explained is more reasonable than outmoded forms represented of religion and culture. may also be seen to be imposed
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by those who seek out magic. a quiet of the psychic healer and energy therapist, bloodless surgeons cannot pass life therapists, and a worshiper of the political strongman each trade autonomy for magic. but the power of the magic vendors, bees, stimulus, like the resurrection of tinker bell cannot be attempted without sacrifice. hear this sacrifice is reason. the contemporary equivalent of cash in the flesh. sacrifice implies a supernatural recipient, an angry god and requires a strong man, perhaps a demigod himself to teach as the acceptable forms. maybe questioned to in these reasons why the failed politician, the incipient dictator, the pretender should be supported when his words are meaningless, as promises either fail and his word proved
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worthless. but this misses the point. it is not the promised results of submission for which the afflicted is paying, but for the experience of a submission which is a real, if transitory care for anxiety. the victim is kept in the fall by promises that the treatment will work but will take more money or time or belief. the victim is quizzical about the failure to accomplish anything promises also schools, indeed so schooled that the magic just needs time to work. worse than previously imagined and to suggest otherwise is not only logical, but implies. this political do, just like the object of an intervention, can affect any residual doubts as rage, off on those who were trying to help him. this may be understood as demonic as they seem to require both the apostasy and psychic disillusion.
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the exercise of total faith is that benefit to which the leftist is paid, autonomy. equal to a psychological death. consider it, it leaves them alone. if deprived by doubt, essential identity with the believing group, he's also deprived of potential communities with his opponents and he is just recently denouncing. a social animal. so no prodigy is too great or embarrassing to those threatened . president obama fell apart on television because he is not used to the altitude in denver. unresponsive. see also the absolutely autonomic emergence and the liberal community and the spontaneous sequential adoption of excuses for his failure. look at the mess he inherited.
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in the program needs time. the system itself is broken, jobs too big for one man and finally, you know what, they're all the same. we human beings are lonely. that is why we're interested in life on other planets. past lives. and in politics. cat is why we fantasize about and about small groups, gays, blacks and the palestinians, the handicapped. this in addition to an expression of legitimate humanitarian concerns is a delightful fantasy that these troops are compressed by difficulties. we, the larger polity imagine them as tribes which is to say exotics, enjoying all the benefits of that gift of culture which we in the larger group have wished away. these tribes possessed the perfection those two things, the victim seeks more political subjugation.
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the left names as enemy, big business, corporations, 1%, homophobic, rich, jews, america. this enemy is necessary now because they're troubled or hateful because there weekend. they have become weak through the constant and tolerable expenditure of energy in the improvisation of a culture. like the strangers on a cruise perpetually bantering. a house guest, what was previously his own country, quite literally pledge allegiance to obama, his most precious possession may encounter irrational challenge from himself or another which is insurmountable. but the prices appearance of a doll fiend can enlighten is resolved calling not upon his exhausted belief but upon his inexhaustible courage. i would suggest the beleaguered leftist three imagines himself as regius but the universally read in public schools, no
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longer a cultural currency. which of the songs of my use remain? the communion, mass, the deacons , the bible, the declaration of independence, gettysburg address. those various productions of poetry universally read 50 years ago are replaced in the brave new worlds by slogans and a reduction of debatable propositions. celebrate diversity. where once we did that, the practice, the celebration of his polar opposite, the exhortation still appearing. english literature titillate midcentury was largely elusive and is in the common knowledge of the bible, gospel, and constitutional works of shakespeare in various poets of that region or time. poetry still written today, but i defy anyone to "one line read
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as recently as last week. we remember for our entire lives that which move does not by command or appeal to the intellect but by residents with the sole which is as opposed to political briefs, we all share. have you heard of the wonderful one horse shay that was built in such a logical way. it ran 100 years to the day. also you what happened without delay. have you heard of that? and that he goes on to characterize how we all fell apart in one instance after 100 years and ends. you will see it went to pieces solid once. all at once in nothing first just as bubbles to when they burst. oliver wendell holmes wrote that in 1858. in 1972, sir john glove, a british historian wrote a pamphlet called the fate of
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empires, 1972. he wrote that the great empires, each flores for around 250 years, and this seems to be the space allotted for imperial hegemony. too long leads to decadence. as the family goes from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves. the empire goes from the pioneers, innovators, bureaucrats from exploration and exploitation to decadence, the quest for world approval, the welfare state, and squabbles over inherited wealth. a notable feature, declining nations, the loss of fiscal energy. suggesting that the state of human organism is no different from the family. both recapitulate human individual tendencies. >> the individual as human, of of with predictable directions. the human my live to be 120
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years but no longer and will decay through predictable stages as will the family. however wealthy and the state, however powerful. now, we see we are at the our word and of the 250 years and see the signs positive. we passed through the ages of outburst, conquest, commerce, affluence, and to let them come to the aged decadence. this can be identified by defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, the welfare state, the dissolution of the armed forces, weakening of religion, and the attempt to curry favor in the world. he also wrote a companion s.a. in which she writes that everyone of us contributes to the recovery of our country by working hard or fostering a sense of comradeship and that only a revival of spiritual devotion can inspire selfless
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service, and each of us can contribute by leading moral and dedicated lives and by speaking and writing in that sense. if we have no leaders we must go it alone. in the chicago public schools it's not quite the time. perhaps that time is not quite yet, but it's evident that the time for sacrifice for the sake of the country and the judeo-christian values is near. the left insistence regarding abortion, birth control, sex education, spiritual as asian, and their rights. looking at these we are reminded of the first visible signals are often mistaken for force.
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the most apparent. the smoke which we see first is the most intense. left similarly sense to be the champion of various causes. independent. calls for a lowering of the birthrate which is one of the first in a universal sign of national decline. see the call from the left for the lowering of abolition for requirements for citizenship. the traditional definitions of such are an egregious example of american exception was and which is to say arrogance that we are first citizens of the world. it applies in plight rights and obligations. but three, iran, china, or indonesia and what rights an american jew, gay, or woman enjoys and obligations we have to the french nation. to suggest we are citizens of the world destroys our understanding of the term and so weakens us.
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one might say that the apogee of american power was the 1969 moon landing and since then we have the most successful empire in history. happiness and public life have been a decline. this is inevitable. nothing lasts forever. this diminishing american hegemony may be one of help the aged. we are the owners of the country and that politic directors and may find the strength to reasonably consider the options open to us in this confusing time. none of them a perfect. we must make a moral choice, which is to say, a choice between two flawed or, indeed, bad alternatives. if we do not choose, the choice will be made for us at those. it is not a brave announcement that our country is perfect, but it is our country to govern,
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defend, and enjoy as long as we choose to set our minds to do it. thank you. [applause] [applause] >> i think i talked too long. >> i think were going to have a few questions. there are two people with microphones. raise your hand and please wait for the microphone. we will try to get it to as many people as we possibly can. we will start here. >> jim pearson. thank you for that address. let me ask you a question about hollywood culture with which you began your address.
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it has always been political to some degree. in the 1950's we had ronald reagan. today we have robert redford, barbra streisand. so he describes the culture. what is the dynamic in your opinion that drives it to left? and are there any signs, perhaps, maybe in your own career by which it might be redirected before it brings us all down? >> well, in my racket of show business, particularly in hollywood we are fantasists. if you looked at the people who are champion -- championing to much trying to save it in the 30's and '40's. the phrase in hollywood was will warn. [indiscernible] presoak they are saving the world in every movie. it makes sense that they start believing their own press notices.
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and that is what we see. i don't know if that's the answer to your question. >> way in the back. >> you are a connoisseur of the confidence man. given some of the great confidence men in theater and film. one of my favorite because you made steve martin a villain. i wonder, as you look upon the political scene today, how do you assess president obama as a confidence man in the panoply of confidence men and not to put a fly in the ointment, but how the u.s.s. mitt romney as a
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confidence man? >> i don't know. i heard connolly's the rice talks several weeks ago. i don't have it in me. he was airing the go to. i was tearing the shoot myself. so there are these people in our evolved system they spend their whole life doing press. we get one who also has the capacity to be a public servant. as milton friedman said, we just don't have the time to the bone up on the people trying to rob us.
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a subsidy for this and that. because we think about it for ten seconds a year, and they think about it all day every day this only one thing we can do. cut taxes. you know. who knows if they are a confidence man. i don't know. i grew up and was born on the shot -- south side of chicago. i see everything through that. of course they are. >> we have a question. >> reopening a revival with al
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pacino playing a different role. your great striking players are rather cynical. no great problem there. interestingly, nothing to do with his political message. but as a great artist, to you see yourself evolving in some way you articulate in your politics and culture is going to be incorporated in your? >> i don't think anybody -- any of it is political. a couple of short overtly political plays. but his were just a yummy. i don't think it's the place of the theater to be political. i should even be here tonight. was a critical of capital? i don't know. i was driving a cab at the time.
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i'm not anymore. if you're writing in the same play and 65 as you were in 1910 the your doing something wrong. >> i saw heather higgins raise her hand. why don't we get a microphone. >> thank you. when you talk about the doubt that is being suppressed by kurds and believe and you have now come out of the political closet, what other doubts that you find or the most fertile ground for you when you're talking with her colleagues tried to persuade them to have the same epiphanies that you've had . what of the arguments that you find. >> what? >> when you're trying to explain your political transition and
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the understanding is that you now have that you did not used to have, where are their greatest doubts, where is it that you have the greatest success in trying to persuade others to see the world as you now see it? >> i can't persuade anybody. i don't have that power. i would not have attempted to. the only people i talk to are conservatives. if there are any liberals, you're lost. you're in the wrong room. i don't try to persuade anybody. i tell you what. i met my first conservative, a friend of a friend. i had never met a conservative in my life. i was impressed by him because he answered questions. he was very composed and patient and simple and was not rancorous and tried to out gauge his responses to the level of my request and was very welcoming. i would -- i don't understand anything this guy is saying. so damn polite.
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maybe i should -- maybe there is something in his convictions. the old argument, the two great allied -- rabbis. the retired. not because his argument was better but because he was more polite. i don't think -- i really think that breaking free of the bubble is a -- i think it's breaking free of the addiction of thought and starts in the public schools and starts in the private schools and starts in one half of the media. it's dreadfully hard. especially as our country straight -- spreads itself into political enclaves. one goes through one's whole life never meeting a conservative or liberal if you're in the other camp. any of us to have had a wonderful experience with trying to convince a liberal by reason
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have come to appreciate the value of a trip to the dentist. >> a question in the corner. >> i'm a big fan, particularly the opening scene where the compensation structures lay out. first prize cadillac, second prize steak knives, enterpriser fired. would you give tonight was a cadillac of the speech, i'll be it a black cadillac, one that might, you know, go in the front procession of funeral. is there anything that you might appeal to tell us? i accept your diagnosis and prognosis, but could you give some speech into what we could do it's actually keep this experiment of self-government going? maybe even as you and did your less statement about how we can start in education. >> education. yes. i go through it all day.
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i have a 30 year-old at home. charter find some school that is not in the pot. i don't think that one has to be politically confrontational. i don't think it's productive or polite. but once in awhile when we have the opportunity when someone comes us and says would you explain your position to me. as i'm sure all of you do. i'd be happy to. tommy warmer on. i don't know what we can do. i haven't slept in two years. it is enough already. i don't think it's the most important election. >> okay. right here. we will get the other questions.
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>> why aren't there more conservative playwrights? is there anything that can be done about that? is that just inherent to the human condition and the nature of playwriting? >> here is the thing. you cannot breed playwrights. you really can't. i knew him as a great, wonderful guy. he kept shaking down the state in the government and the rich people, anybody who would listen. a hamlet with eskimos. an all female cast. in the goddam thing. he didn't care. but that is not the place to politics. unfortunately contemporary theater comes out of the university system. a very fortunate. william peterson. we were all kids. twenty-two years old. we and our own theater company.
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we didn't know any better. but nowadays i think they're doing that on the internet, whatever the hell they do. but they study the theater and do theater in universities in the liberal arts universities, completely democratic -- democratic. they went from having an experience and a free-market. you have to please the audience. have the unfortunate experience of growing up in trying to please the teacher. that is not theater. and so the playwrights, they come to new york. he picked up a flexion place. who is going to be in the barrel this season so we can come out humming the fact that x, y, z our people to and feel good about ourselves. you have to have a place to fail.
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i really get a clue. look at some of these present days. one the following play competitions. you don't have to read. they can't write. >> just a follow-up on that. i would love to get your opinion on the work of your new york times colleague. >> he's going to work his side of the street not going to work mind. he is a very good writer. we have very different political views. it's the great thing about free-speech. [applause] i get the right to put on my place if i can find enough suckers to invest in them. so busy. and i'm glad i said it. okay.
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we will fight it out. posterity will be its own judge. >> yeah. grab that. >> i was really interested in what you're saying. social animals. excommunication. i was wondering if you had had your intellectual conversion earlier in life before you were less established and a little bit older would you have been more reticent to the vocal about it. >> you bet. >> okay. get to know.
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i'm pretty arrogant, but i don't think i'm stupid. it's a different thing. sometimes you have to -- look. the jewish tradition says a lot of low and is the law. sometimes it's a good idea to keep your head down and sometimes it's not. enjoy a position such that i felt immune to a certain amount of harmful criticism. that is true. i had it happen. i don't know. it's an excellent question ..
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>> has any one of you read these works? what is the other one? >> also, the young actor over there, also, i realize that it is not my job to say all of you brain-dead liberals over there, have you not read this book? you know? and the people we are going to be talking about and it is no big deal. >> one last question here. >> okay, one last question umax [inaudible question]
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>> yes, have a new play and it is called the anarchists. and jeffrey richard produced it. it is a play about -- it is kind of a pastiche about patty lupone, who plays a weatherman. all of those wonderful political icons were teaching higher education. she played an algorithm of -- what was it again? another one who just got caught after 30 years. and so she is one of the better actresses who plays this woman who was a terrorist. and she has been in jail, and she is up for a parole hearing.
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the person who has been her parole officer has been played by debra winger and is trying to make up her mind whether to go or not. it is quite cute. i mean, you have to leave how many selections and who could ask for anything more. thank you very much. [applause] [cheers] >> thank you everyone, get come and get home safely. thank you everyone. goodnight. [inaudible conversations] >> for more information, visit the authors website, david mamet.com.
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>> on your screen now is brian vandermark who is a professor of history at the u.s. naval academy. work. the story of america's influence in the middle east. professor, who was then it was? he was the founder of the entrepreneurial spirit. >> what was the goal of reverend bliss in finding this american university? >> i think it differed from what became his life work. he was determined to convert muslims to christianity.
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and he quickly realized that that was not going to happen. in the way to make a connection with him was to a educate them. that is what they responded to positively. he ran with that and developed what later became the harvard of the middle east. >> is it still open? >> it is, indeed. it rather many tough years from 1975 until 1991. but it remains open. >> who owns and runs a? >> it is run by a very impressive faculty. the current president is peter
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gorman, a direct descendent of daniel bliss. featured will be important departments of the university of chicago before he took up his job. >> was it wasn't coincidental that he was a direct descendent of the reverend bliss, or was that on purpose? >> i think it was on purpose, but he is a well scholar administrator and has a personal passion for the school because of his family connection. >> who owns the american university or who runs it remapping. >> the vast majority of students. >> was he associated with the legend of another school? >> it was deliberately secular and non-secretary and. >> what does it cost to go there puryear? >> i have no idea. >> what did it cost back in the days of reverend bliss? >> i don't know the question to that either, but i do know they open their doors not just to the
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elite but people of all ethnicities and that is its appeal and merit. >> how is it viewed in the middle east. >> well, first, there was when the school opened in the 1860s, they didn't have deep roots and became apparent that they were not just christians, but muslims and jews and this was the best place to get education. within a generation, it became what it remains today. what is magnificent about that is that it is an all inclusive institution founded by americans
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to serve the interests of the people of the middle east regardless of everything. >> speaking of this, how would you -- do you see this as being a part of diplomacy to the middle east? >> only partially. i think it is appropriate and practical. he gives middle easterners and awareness it is not always about oil. or deploying oteri forces for national security.
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there are much more practical and beneficial ways. i wanted the american people to know that story. >> who was malcolm curran? what happened to him? >> use a professor of science at ucla, who leaves ucla year before i arrived. he had grown up in beirut. his parents had been on the faculty. though he had made a distinguished career for herself, she came home and it really is he during particularly difficult times. due to the israeli incursion of 1982. the city was a mass, school was under assault.
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but he loved school and he gave his life for the school. >> by whom and how? >> mostly by a group known as the islamic jihad. she had been previously excluded from politics and economics of the country. and they had ideological tendencies for the power in iran. he had been radicalized by south lebanon in the early 1980s. it was a very toxic mix that led them to take medical steps that climax in the assassination. >> why was he targeted? >> because he was an american.
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he was a very visible presence in the middle east and their is no more higher profiling and that in the american region than that. >> was the american university put in beirut on purpose and what was it like? >> it was and still is a very multicultural cosmopolitan international city where east meets west. then and now, they all mixed to a significant degree, muslims, jews, and christians. it became a launching pad for creating what became the latest university in the region.
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>> qu├ębec university have been put in another university of middle eastern state and survived? >> perhaps, but it was no greater anywhere else. in addition to being ambitious and visionary and practical and compassionate, and very patriotically american. he wanted a school that was not going to be controlled by other nationalities or other interest. he wanted to create a school that represented the american model of education they gave people in the middle east and american education that could rise everyday in intangible ways. >> why is it important to tell the story, in your view? >> i think that most middle easterners and americans, for that matter, are unaware of this longer and deeper humanitarian dimension of america's
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involvement in the middle east. when we think about our involvement, usually centers upon military security. middle easterners feel likewise. they don't think about the longer it's of this. they have nothing to do with the deployment of combat to protect everyone. >> brian vandermark, his most recent book, "american sheikhs: two families, four generations, and the story of america's east." this is booktv on c-span2. >> booktv has over 150,000 twitter followers. follow us on twitter get publishing news and scheduling updates and author information and talk directly with authors during our live programming. twitter.com/booktv. >> novelist james patterson is speaking at the miami book fair
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and he talked about a reading program that he has personally started. we wanted look at some of the other reading programs that are available in the united states and see what their efforts are. we begin with jeanne robertson. she is the chief financial officer of a group called first book. if you could describe what it is to start with? >> yes, i just want to say thank you to c-span for all the incredible support you have given to the entire industry and the entire concept of reading and literacy. c-span has been a leader or not. and it is a wonder to meet you. it provides books and educational materials to programs and across the united states. >> how did you get started, and where you do you get your
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funding from? >> we started 20 years ago. in fact, we are celebrating our 100 millionth book being distributed this week, we started 20 years ago in washington dc. we have distributed more and more as the years have gone by, especially in recent years. we distributed 12 million year and we support programs across united states and now over 40,000. our funding comes from corporate marketing campaigns that we do, as well as individual donors and some foundations. but we have also created a revenue-generating model, which is the first part of marketplace. >> now, is there a special
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focus? dd preschoolers or do you work through classrooms? >> that's a great question. we support all programs in all classrooms serving kids in need. "reading is fundamental" is a good example. we have over 1900 "reading is fundamental" programs, as well as over 40,000 others. head start, afterschool programs, kids zero to 18 are supported by this. >> gene robinson mentioned that end we are joined by carol hampton rasco, who is the president and ceo of "reading is fundamental." give us the background, if you will, the program, "reading is fundamental." >> 46 years ago, there is a
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meeting that jacqueline kennedy called at the white house with all the cabinet spouses. and mrs. kennedy said that she told each spouse that we are each going to do something to make washington a better place for the people who live and work here every day. mrs. mcnamara had a great reputation as a reading tutor. she tutor the wealthier children in town and also children from poor economic backgrounds. she had found come up one day, how much it meant in the life of public school, she had bought books that her children had used before. well, one of the mothers wanted to return the stolen book. and i said no, we want the child
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have to have the book, and that started the tradition of when we present a book to a child, helping the child. she appeared to help children, those who do not learn to read well on time, it usually means we are here to help them spread the joy of reading. first by putting a book in their hands that they have chosen. over recent years, we have really tried again to stress even more the parental environment that needs to happen with that book if it's going to come alive. we have undergone a transition in the last year. the 46 years for the last long while, we have had books that
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were not funded in the fiscal year 13 budget. we probably should have done more of them forming collaborations with our friends at first book. we have always done private fund-raising and we are setting that up as well. >> now, do you see yourselves as competitors, collaborators? >> we see ourselves as collaborators and we get asked that question all the time about competitors. we have a significant number of programs who purchase their books from the marketplace that she mentioned. but we have all wanted to collaborate in all kinds of ways. when the federal grant in a way, we came to rest with this
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proposal to allow us to purchase books from them in a manner that would really allow us purchase about 250,000 then we would normally get for the same dollars and elsewhere. so we are very excited over the next several months and we are starting the first distribution. we are focusing and doing much of our work this year on out of school time when children are out of school for the winter holiday, spring break, and summer. we will go home with these books with the hope that the parent
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will get engaged reading with the child. so there is a lot of excitement. a lot of excitement about this project right now. >> jane robinson? >> that's exactly right. we are collaborators in the perils of this and carol is a fantastic educator. she has led this a long time, but not too long. of course. [laughter] there is such a supply pipeline that supports programs like "reading is fundamental" and others who have done fantastic work. our primary model has been to build the logistics of programs in classrooms serve kids in
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need. that was a huge gap that was missing when our founders found this 20 years ago. one of them is a great time here in washington dc and realizes these are local heroes supporting kids who need the most help in an environment that would work for hours a day, and they were absolutely with resources. many were. what we realized was we can certainly solve one part of this and build a pipeline to get the resources to them. others are increasingly devoted to what kind of content is going
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on. what is available to these programs, and how to use that in the classroom. we consider ourselves soldiers in the same order taking on a challenge. it is beyond what we have reached so far and get completely across the united states and beyond. with lots of resources. >> the work with the public libraries? >> we do. we like to be sure that we get brand-new books that are chosen by the administrators and teachers. that is our primary focus. but we have absolutely worked with corporate partners to supply libraries with books.
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as a matter of fact, right now, in response to hurricane sandy and the devastation there, we have a website up and we are working with partners to purchase replacements for libraries in the new york and new jersey area. >> carol hampton rasco, have you moved into the e-book world at all? >> we have started exploring it, and we do not discourage it. many of the schools and children we serve have not had access to the piece of equipment. so we have been looking at how can we promote that. because in addition to wanting children to have books and get them engaged in reading, we know that the e-book is a great way to do that.
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i certainly don't want to look back 10 years from now and say, oh, my goodness, we have another digital divide that occurred. we want to make sure that the children we are serving have the opportunity to learn how to use the book and what it is there and what it can mean to them. we are now working on that kind of thing and that will probably be a project that would bring together. >> jane robinson, are you working on e-books? >> yes, we are working on a digital platform so that we can reach all kinds of limitations. if anyone is confused about whether there is a divide, let me assure you that there is a horrible gap in the country.
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32%, that is not a misstatement. 42% of the kids in the united states are from low income families. that means they simply don't have the kind of access to educational resources and books that others have. that is over 30 million children. if we are going to bridge that gap where the divide, whatever you want to call it, we have to build essential systems that can affordably get those terrific resources. that doesn't mean folks are books are going away, but it means the digital devices and the terrific research and learning from people like the cooney center. all of these resources have got to be broad to what is called the base of the economic peer med globally. the base of the economic peer mentor in the united states. and we have to bridge that.
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that was what we first came to do, as carol said, we have a large plan to get a digital platform built and we are about to do that working hand-in-hand with terrific organizations. >> carol hampton rasco, former first ladies barbara and laura bush, and made reading a big issue. you see a difference in support when something like that happens with that high-profile? >> well, we certainly do. especially when you are forced to assist with every committee you've ever served on. it was extremely helpful and they both have foundations and had that continued, it is
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certainly a big help when people like that in those positions of power are helping people see that there are children out there that do not have a single book in the home except, in what we hear most often when we talk to children of lesser economic means, they know that we are never going to ask that. and the most common things we have heard through the years is my mother has a book wrapped up in special cloth that she keeps in a chore. and then we realize it's the family bible, it's very special, and the children know that, or they will talk about the book with yellow paper. and there are no yellow pages. so i think it is very difficult for those of us that have all
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the books we could ever wanted, all of us to go to the library very frequently, you know, i went twice a day during the summer. i love to read. but it's hard for us to believe that there are no books in the home for a child, a child is too far from the library to walk or ride a bike. and when there is little free time, perhaps no good transportation were they can't afford it. that is so difficult. it is critical that we believe these things that we are being told. that these children are in need of one of the most basic things that children get early in life, and that is very good. >> jane robinson, you have 60 seconds to make a